The oil industry has a plan, and it’s not to go Green.
Malcolm Harris lays it out in his New York article: oil companies expect and plan to profit from the climate crisis.
Where we should be planning for a fossil fuel-free World within mere years, oil companies like Shell, BP and Exxon are briefing and planning to use all the oil and gas they can – and when the climate crises strikes to have us beg for them to transition to clean energy.
That’s not just a theory, but real planning. After all, why throw out all the chemical, pipeline, shipping, energy and above all production infrastructure and investment of the last 100 years? Any exec who tried would be out, and replaced.
The logical thing to do is to brief one way, and to spend another. No-one has the power to stop this investment, politicians know this, and execs cannot act even if privately they have grave concerns. The World system is built on oil and gas, key country relationships are underpinned by it, and to break this bond is just too complicated for any politician to attempt.
In public, oil companies talk green. To politicians oil companies brief that for stability and future order, oil and gas are needed, bribe political parties and individuals will what must feel like to them extraordinarily small amounts of money, often write legislation for legislatures. Oil companies spend over $200Mn a year lobbying against increased environmental regulation. Social media is used to build a false consensus that we need fossil fuels despite the ‘drawbacks’.
How do we break this fatal cycle? We don’t need tinkering redesign of a broken system. We need new design to support a Just, Clean, Green, Feminist transition to clean energy economy and a socially just World. Art needs to support, illustrate and show us the way.